About the Book
thousands of years, Hindus have looked at the Himalayas with wonder and
reverence. Himalayas are the abode of gods. It is believed that Lord Shiva sat
deep in meditation on the Himalayas until, Parvati,
the daughter of the mountains, succeeded in winning his love. Temples of
various gods stand high in the mountains and millions of pilgrims make the
arduous ascent to them each year.
Himalayas are the most sacred and revered mountain ranges of Hindus. The
snow-bound, inspiring, serene and awesome Himalayan Mountains are shrouded in
mystery which has lured people since times immemorial.
beauty of Himalayas leaves one speechless with a tremendous feeling of awe and
admiration. It is one of the most beautiful places on the Earth with nature’s
bounty at its peak. To nature lovers, it is a paradise on Earth and for those
seeking spirituality it is the ultimate destination as a spiritual abode.
About the Author
), Shantha N. Nair, , M.A., Ph. D, is a retired
Reader and Head of the Department of Economics, S.P.W. College, Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh. She has written several articles
in subject journals, published Learners' Dictionary of Economics, translated a
few religious books from Tamil to English for the Tirumala
(TTD), co-authored a book entitled A Garland of Gems of Wisdom for a Happy and
Successful Life and authored books entitled Stories from Srimad
Bhagavatham, Sri Rama - The Lord Incarnate and Sri
Himalayas - an abode of Hindu Gods, was never meant to
be a book. When my husband and I got an opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to Rishikesh and its surrounding places, my joy knew no
bounds. Even though I had visited some of these and other places in the north
about twenty years ago, I was overwhelmed with ecstasy at the prospect of
visiting these lovely places again.
sacred and majestic Himalayas have always enchanted me since childhood. The
more I got acquainted with the holy and beautiful places there, the more thrilled
I felt. So, you can easily imagine the state of my mind when my husband and I
undertook this trip on the initiative of our dear son.
writing originally began as a diary of the events of our twenty-day tour to the
extreme north of India, the places we visited, how we visited them, where we
stayed, our daily routine, and our impressions.
finished writing the diary, though, I found that it contained some information
that would be useful to those wishing to visit the Tapo
Bhoomi and Dev Bhoomi. So,
I decided to convert my jottings into a small book titled Reminiscences of My
Journey, by avoiding some portions of the diary I found very personal and which
would not be of any interest to the others.
found the contents to be very limited for a book. Therefore, I collected more
information about the Himalayas as a whole, and some of the other holy and
bewitching places there that we could not visit. Finally, this humble book, The
Holy Himalayas, emerged.
has two parts. The first gives a brief idea about the Himalayas in general,
their importance, evolution, divisions, major peaks, sanctity, some hill
stations there, important glaciers, rivers, the climate, vegetation and
wildlife, the people, adventure sports, and the transport facilities available
second part of the book has thirteen chapters and deals with the location,
description, and significance of the places of religious and spiritual
importance like Rishikesh, Haridwar,
Panch Prayag, the Char Dhams, namely Kedarnarh, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, Hemkund Saheb, the Valley of Flowers, Mata Vaishno
Devi temple, Ama nath,
Mount Kailash and Mansarovar.
A few photographs of these places are also presented here.
humble way, I have tried to give a glimpse of the towering Himalayas in general
and the Indian Himalayas in particular in the first part,
and about a few sacred places and temples across the mighty Himalayas in the
the information and data given in this book are mainly from secondary sources,
although primary sources do find some place.
will therefore have to bear in mind the limitations of secondary sources of
information and data. There is also variation in the statistical information
available from different sources. For example, relating to the heights of the
mountains in the Himalayas, the distance from one place to the other and so on.
At best, these can be taken only as approximations and not as accurate figures.
do I claim any originality for my work (since all that I have done here is to
represent the information I collected) nor do I consider my work scholarly. I
shall feel greatly honoured and more than satisfied if this effort is useful to
anyone or induces anyone to undertake a trip to the bewitching and holy spots
of the Himalayas, since my intention is only to share my joy with as many
readers as possible and give at least an outline of the most spectacular
monument on earth, the Himalayas.
no amount of information, either through word of mouth or by writing can equal
or come anywhere near the mystic experience one gains and the ecstasy one feels
by travelling through these places of immense natural beauty, and by visiting
spots of legendary and historic importance.
one explores, the more interesting and vast the
Himalayas become. One has to actually see it to believe its magnificence. I
wish that everyone gets a chance to visit not only the places included here,
but also other places in the Himalayas at least once during their lifetime, as
this is a lifetime's experience. I hope this book enables children to get some
idea of the enchanting Himalayas. I also hope it is of some help to Pilgrims
who happen to visit these places for the first time.
Abode of Hindu Divinity
of the Himalayas
Great Himalayan Ranges and Peaks
of the Himalayas
Sacred Places in the Himalayas
Valley of Flowers
Mata Vaishno Devi
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